5 Best VPNs for Apple TV Working in 2024: Easy Setup Guide
- Best VPNs for Apple TV — Full Analysis (Updated in 2024)
- ExpressVPN — Best Apple TV VPN With a Native Apple TV App for Easy Streaming
- CyberGhost — Streaming-Optimized Servers to Reliably Watch Your Favorite Content on Apple TV
- Private Internet Access — Large Server Network to Stream Uninterrupted on Apple TV
- IPVanish — Fast Speeds for Streaming Content on Your Apple TV
- PrivateVPN — Intuitive Apps to Easily Share a VPN Connection to Your Apple TV
- Quick Comparison Table: Apple TV VPN Features
- Tips on Choosing the Best VPN for Apple TV
- How to Set Up a VPN on Your Apple TV
- FAQs on VPNs for Apple TV
- Get the Best VPN for Apple TV Today
Watching your favorite content on your phone or laptop is good, but not quite the same as watching on a large screen using an Apple TV. Unfortunately, most VPNs can't be installed directly onto your Apple TV, but there are some ways around this.
To get a VPN on your Apple TV, you need to find one with a native app, router support, or Smart DNS. When you install a VPN on your router, you can connect your Apple TV to it and stream content. Smart DNS works differently in that it doesn’t encrypt your traffic as a VPN does. Instead, it replaces your ISP DNS number with a new one from your preferred country.
I tested multiple VPNs to see if they work on Apple TV, and my top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has a native app for Apple TV, dedicated router app, and Smart DNS for connecting to Apple TV. Its reliable, lightning-fast servers allowed me to use my streaming accounts and watch countless episodes of my favorite shows in 4K quality. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it risk-free and see if it’s right for you. If you’re not happy, you can get a refund.
Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Apple TV in 2024
- Editor's ChoiceExpressVPN
Best for Apple TV with fast speeds, native app, and dedicated router app.70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
Streaming-optimized servers for Apple TV; speeds could be better.
- Private Internet Access
Extensive server network; complex app with many customization options.
Fast for HD content on Apple TV; lacks Smart DNS feature.
Intuitive app for quick Apple TV streaming; no pre-configured VPN router.
Best VPNs for Apple TV — Full Analysis (Updated in 2024)
Tested March 2024 Try Risk-Free for 30 Days
- Directly download the app on your Apple TV
- Super-fast speeds for UHD streaming on Apple TV
- 3,000 servers across 105 countries
- Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, ITV Hub, Paramount+, Disney+, Discovery+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, ESPN, Peacock, YouTube TV, fuboTV, and more
- Compatible with: Apple TV, Windows, Mac, iOS, Chromebook, Android, Linux, routers, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Xiaomi Mi Box, Kodi, Google Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and more
ExpressVPN is one of the rare VPNs with a native Apple TV app, so you can quickly and easily stream on your big screen. Go to the App Store on your Apple TV, search for ExpressVPN, and click Get to install. Then, log in to your account using your phone to scan a QR code on your Apple TV screen. That's it. However, if your TV doesn't have the App Store (tvOS), you can install the VPN on your router using its dedicated router app.
Also, ExpressVPN offers a great alternative to installing it on a router: a Smart DNS service called MediaStreamer, specially made for streaming purposes. I prefer this over the router method because I can directly install it on Apple TV. However, it only works if you're in the US or UK. So, if you live in another country, the Apple TV app or router option is your best bet.
You can choose from a selection of 3,000 servers in 105 countries. This extensive range of servers means less server crowding and faster speeds.
ExpressVPN has incredibly fast speeds for streaming in UHD on your Apple TV. I tested some local servers from Australia, and was pleased to find that my base download speeds of 47 Mbps only dropped by less than 5% on average. Even when my colleague in Washington connected to distant servers in the US — in particular, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco — he still managed to get an average speed drop of only 10%. With these kinds of speeds, you’ll be able to stream videos with no interruptions.
The only minor con about ExpressVPN is that it has slightly higher prices than other VPNs, with prices starting at $6.67/month. But the great thing is that you can get a pretty good discount on its long-term plans, where you could be saving up to 49%.
Luckily, all ExpressVPN plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. If you’re not completely satisfied, you can get a refund. The process is easy and hassle-free — all you need to do is chat with a support representative via the 24/7 live chat. After your refund is processed, you’ll get your money back in a few days.
2. CyberGhost — Streaming-Optimized Servers to Reliably Watch Your Favorite Content on Apple TV
- 11,690 servers, including streaming-optimized ones for watching on Apple TV
- Decent speeds for uninterrupted streaming
- 7 simultaneous device connections
- Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Showtime, Disney+, Discovery+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, Peacock, ESPN, YouTube TV, fuboTV, and more
- Compatible with: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Kodi, Roku, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Chrome, Firefox, Raspberry Pi, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and more
CyberGhost has a bunch of streaming-optimized servers so you can quickly find one for your country. These particular servers are regularly tested to ensure they work with the major streaming platforms on your Apple TV. You can find them by clicking on the “For streaming” menu on the app. Then, type your country into the search bar to see a list of optimized servers available.
My teammate in the US tested a few of these dedicated servers to see if they worked, and he wasn’t disappointed. The US server optimized for Hulu worked immediately, so he could watch episode after episode of Homeland.
To get CyberGhost working on your Apple TV, you can use its Smart DNS service, install the software on your router, or purchase a pre-configured one. I prefer to use the Smart DNS as it’s quicker to set up and easy to use. CyberGhost has DNS addresses specifically for Netflix US and UK and Hulu. So if these are the platforms that you use the most, the Smart DNS option will be great for you.
When it comes to speeds, CyberGhost isn’t as good as ExpressVPN. On local servers, I experienced a 39% drop from my base of 40 Mbps. Nevertheless, I was able to watch my favorite shows in HD with little to no buffering since only 5 Mbps are required for it.
CyberGhost has multiple plans to choose from, starting at $2.19/month. I recommend a long-term plan, as these often give you the best value. I was able to score a discount of 84% when choosing my subscription plan.
I was impressed with CyberGhost’s generous money-back guarantee for its long-term plans. It offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the service risk-free. The monthly plan, however, only gives you 14 days. Either way, if you’re not happy, you can ask for your money back.
- 29,650 servers in 91 countries to stream content on Apple TV
- Smart DNS that allows you to stream on your Apple TV
- Unlimited simultaneous device connections
- Works with: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Peacock TV, Paramount+, Discovery+, Vudu, ESPN, and more
- Compatible with: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Kodi, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, routers, and more
PIA’s massive network of servers means you can easily find a server to watch content available in your country on Apple TV. Since there are more servers for you to try to connect to, there’s less load on each one, which means you can get better speeds. My US colleague tested multiple servers near him and could stream many popular US services, including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Plus, it has some streaming-optimized servers but they’re not dedicated to specific streaming platforms like CyberGhost’s.
When testing PIA’s speeds, I found that they were good. Using servers closer to me in Australia, I got an average download speed of 35 Mbps compared to my base speed of 42 Mbps (17% speed drop). The streaming-optimized server (US West) gave my teammate in the US a download speed of 33 Mbps, which is a 21% speed drop from his base speed. This is still acceptable.
My US colleague was able to watch All American: Homecoming and had no issues with video quality. You really only need about 5 Mbps to stream in HD, and it’s quite normal for a VPN to drop your speeds by up to 20%.
PIA has a Smart DNS feature that helps you use it on your Apple TV without having to configure the VPN on your router. It’s really simple to set up, and PIA has an easy-to-follow guide on the site, which I found to be quite helpful.
Another option is to install it on your router. But if you don’t want to go through that process, you can purchase a PIA pre-configured FlashRouter.
The only negative thing about PIA is that it has customizable settings that can be a bit confusing to use, especially for beginners. When using the app in its extended version, I found that it wasn’t intuitive. However, PIA comes pre-configured and ready for you to use, so you don’t need to change anything to start streaming. Plus, it’s still easy to find and connect to a server.
PIA has some reasonably priced plans you could choose from, starting at $2.03/month. I’d recommend investing in a long-term plan to get the best value, where you could save up to 82%.
All of the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out for yourself risk-free. If you decide it’s not right for you, just reach out to customer service within 30 days of your purchase to receive a refund.
- Good streaming speeds so you can watch your favorite shows in HD
- Customizable server settings to meet your needs
- Unlimited simultaneous device connections for connecting your Apple TV and other devices all at once
- Works with: Netflix, Showtime, Disney+, Discovery+, Paramount+, ITV Hub, Hulu, ESPN, Vudu, and more
- Compatible with: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Kodi, Roku, Google Chromecast, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chromebook, Raspberry Pi, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more
IPVanish’s servers gave me good speeds for streaming. During testing from Australa, the long-distance AU servers that I used to watch my shows on Netflix gave me average speeds of 44 Mbps. This was just an 8% drop in my download speeds compared to my base speed of 48 Mbps. With IPVanish’s fast servers, you can watch content on your Apple TV and expect no issues with video quality.
With IPVanish, you can filter the 2,200 servers by country, city, ping, and load. For example, if you want faster speeds then you can choose a server with the lowest load. When choosing my server for streaming Netflix AU, I picked the one with the lowest ping and load from the Australia list.
Sadly, IPVanish does not offer support for the Smart DNS feature. Installing IPVanish on a router that supports Apple TV requires purchasing or using one that supports Apple TV (DD-WRT or Tomato).
Several techniques exist for utilizing your Apple TV to view streaming content. You can use AirPlay or a VPN to link to a streaming service.
You can get IPVanish by purchasing one of its 3 premium plans (long-term plans often give you more value for your money). When I was signing up, I got a discount of 77%.
IPVanish’s yearly plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for you to try it risk-free. Just keep in mind that this offer isn’t available with the other plans. You don’t even need to speak to customer service to cancel your subscription. Instead, you can do this via the account portal online. When I tried to cancel my subscription, all I had to do was go to my IPVanish account and click on “I wish to cancel my subscription” under the Subscription menu.
- Easy-to-use software so you can stream on your Apple TV
- 200 servers in 63 countries
- 10 simultaneous device connections
- Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ESPN+, DAZN, YouTube TV, and more
- Compatible with: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Raspberry Pi, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Chrome, Firefox, Google Chromecast, Kodi, routers, and more
Thanks to PrivateVPN's user-friendly apps, sharing a VPN connection from one of your devices to your Apple TV is a simple process. Creating a hotspot on one device, such as your computer, will allow you to share your VPN connection over WiFi. After that, you can use the shared VPN connection to stream media to your Apple TV. I was able to locate and connect to my server with just two clicks and the Simple View. AirPlay usage is a good illustration, similar to what I said about IPVanish.
Even though its network is smaller, with 200 servers in 63 countries, PrivateVPN has great coverage. So you should easily be able to find a server in your country. My US colleague tested to see if it works with Max (formerly HBO Max), and it did. Its Los Angeles server quickly connected and allowed him to watch House of the Dragon.
Speeds were good enough for streaming. I tested the speeds on 3 nearby servers and got an average download speed of 36 Mbps, which is a 25% drop from my base speed. Even though the results were slower than ExpressVPN’s, you should still be able to watch with no interruptions or delays.
The issues I have with PrivateVPN stem from its lack of a Smart DNS feature and the absence of pre-configured routers. However, it's still possible to manually install it on an appropriate router. While this process may present a moderate challenge, the PrivateVPN website provides comprehensive instructions for installation on various compatible routers.
PrivateVPN offers multiple plans which all come with the same features. Depending on the available offers, you can get a discount of up to 85% and pay as little as $2/month. I recommend going for a long-term plan so you can get the best value.
Each plan is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try PrivateVPN to see if it’s right for you. If not, you can simply request a refund. I had a closer look into its refund policy and it said that all refunds are processed within 5 business days from confirmation of cancellation.
Quick Comparison Table: Apple TV VPN Features
Tips on Choosing the Best VPN for Apple TV
In order to identify the top VPNs for Apple TV, I evaluated each one based on a specific set of standards. The essential attributes I focused on were:
- Worldwide server network. It’s important that a VPN has a large number of servers spread across different regions. This means you’ll find servers near you in your country to stream on your Apple TV. Also, the more servers there are, the less load there is on each server — which means no overcrowding, and faster speeds.
- Fast speeds. You need fast speeds to stream content on Apple TV without interruptions. I tested each VPN on this list and found that their average download speeds were fast enough for streaming in HD and even 4K. I watched my favorite shows and didn’t experience any buffering.
- Convenient router support. Apple TV doesn’t support native VPN apps, so it’s important to look for a VPN that supports routers. Installing a VPN on your router is one of the ways you can get the VPN to work on your Apple TV.
- Intuitive Smart DNS service. This feature is a great alternative to installing the VPN on your router, which takes some manual configuration. Smart DNS is generally easy to use and is faster than a VPN connection (because there’s no encryption). My top 3 recommended VPNs all have this feature, and it’s been tested on each one for Apple TV to ensure it works as described.
- Easy-to-use apps. All of my recommended VPNs have user-friendly apps which make it easy to connect to and switch servers. The router setups involve a bit of effort, but top VPN picks each have detailed setup instructions for configuration. Plus, if you do run into any issues, each one has 24/7 live chat support.
How to Set Up a VPN on Your Apple TV
Only ExpressVPN allows you to directly install the VPN on your Apple TV using its native Apple TV app. Like with WhatsApp Web login, use your phone to scan a QR code to log in to your ExpressVPN account from your TV. However, there are alternative methods available to enable VPN functionality. I have discovered three different approaches to incorporate a VPN on your Apple TV. These methods include setting up Smart DNS, installing a VPN on your router, or utilizing a VPN on your iPad/iPhone and utilizing AirPlay to stream it to your TV. To assist you, I have provided detailed, step-by-step instructions for each method.
Set up Smart DNS on your Apple TV
- Get a VPN that has Smart DNS. I recommend ExpressVPN because its MediaStreamer DNS service is specifically designed for streaming.
- Go to the ExpressVPN DNS settings page. You may need to enter your ExpressVPN credentials to sign in.
- Register your IP address. You can find this under “IP address registration” tab. If your IP address is already registered, you can skip this step. You can also enable the “Automatically register my IP” setting.
- Go to the ExpressVPN setup page (you may need to enter your credentials again). Select Apple TV, and on the right-hand side, you’ll find the MediaStreamer DNS server IP address (you’ll need this information for step 6).
- On your Apple TV, open Settings and then select Network. Once you’re in the Network menu, select your connection (Wi-Fi) and open its settings. Then choose Manual in the Configure DNS options.
- Enter the MediaStreamer DNS IP address (from step 4). Then, click Done.
- Restart your Apple TV and open your desired streaming platform.
- Now you can stream on your Apple TV from anywhere.
Install a VPN on your router
- Get a VPN. My top choice is ExpressVPN. It’s the only VPN on this list that comes with its own router app, which makes it much easier to change locations.
- Go to your router dashboard by typing 192.168.1.1 into your browser’s URL bar. If this doesn’t work (and you’re using a Windows device), you can go to Command Prompt and type in ipconfig, then press Enter (this will show you your router’s IP address).
- Once you’re on the dashboard, go to where it says “Services” and choose “VPN”.
- Enable the “Start Open VPN Client” option.
- Download the router firmware. ExpressVPN has step-by-step setup guides for this. Then, connect your router to the internet and install the router firmware.
- Connect your Apple TV to the router.
- Sign in to your favorite streaming site and start watching on your Apple TV.
Use AirPlay and a VPN
- Download a VPN on your Mac/iPhone/iPad. My top recommendation is ExpressVPN because it’s super-fast and comes with easy-to-use macOS and iOS apps.
- Open the VPN app and sign in.
- Choose and connect to a server near you in your country to stream on your Apple TV.
- Open your streaming service app and log in. You should now be able to see your desired content.
- Make sure your Apple TV shares the same connection as your iOS device. Then play a movie or an episode.
- Use the screen mirroring feature on your Apple device. Then select your Apple TV.
- Open the video you’re trying to play on your Mac/iPhone/iPad. Now you can watch any show or movie on your Apple TV.
FAQs on VPNs for Apple TV
Will Netflix work on my Apple TV if I use a VPN?
Yes, if you have a good VPN. Streaming sites like Netflix have become pretty good at detecting and blocking some VPN IP addresses, even when you're in a country with broadcasting rights. All the VPNs I’ve listed allowed me to watch Netflix with no issues. Plus, they’re compatible with Apple TV.
Can I use a free VPN for my Apple TV?
No, you can’t because most free VPNs can’t be installed on a router and they don’t offer a separate Smart DNS option.
Secondly — unlike premium VPNs — most free VPNs have data or bandwidth limits. This isn’t good for streaming, as it can cause buffering and interruptions while you’re watching.
Because free VPNs don’t make sales profits, they often sell your information to third parties. As such, they’re very unsafe and should be avoided.
A better option is to go for a premium VPN with a reliable money-back guarantee.
Are Apple TV and Apple TV+ the same thing?
No. Apple TV is a physical device whereas Apple TV+ is a streaming platform. They’re both owned by Apple. The Apple TV device offers different streaming apps in its store, including Apple TV+, which is similar to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and the like. You can stream Apple TV+ on a number of compatible devices — it doesn’t necessarily have to be used on Apple TV. However, you can still do that if you wish.
Get the Best VPN for Apple TV Today
The best VPN for Apple TV is one that is compatible with the device, has reliable servers, fast speeds, and is easy to use. All the VPNs on my list work great on Apple TV. They come with router support and the top 3 also offer Smart DNS services so you can access your favorite content effortlessly.
Out of all the 5 VPNs I tested, ExpressVPN is my top choice. Its lightning-fast servers are reliable for uninterrupted streaming. Plus, it has a native Apple TV app to easily use it on your Apple TV by scanning a QR code.
ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for you to try it out risk-free with Apple TV. If you’re not happy with the service, you can get your money back before your guarantee period ends.
To summarize, here are the best VPNs for Apple TV
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